PhD project in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph – Closing date: January 1, 2018

Development of novel biotracers to understand the impact of agricultural practices on aquatic wildlife

A Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF)-funded PhD student position is available for a candidate interested in wildlife conservation and physiology. The candidate will seek to assess the cumulative impacts of human activity in fish exposed to gradients of agricultural runoff using physiological tools, both in field and laboratory settings. Individual measures of chronic stress and contaminant exposure will be combined with an analysis of physiological and ecological indicators of fish performance. This project aims to develop and validate new biotracers of the sublethal effects of pollution on aquatic wildlife, which could revolutionize our approach to aquatic environmental assessment and monitoring.

The overarching theme of the University of Guelph CFREF is precision agriculture and environmental sustainability. The selected candidate will join the CFREF ecology team composed of up to 25 collaborators across 4 Departments plus the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. The primary objective of the ecology team is to understand, and mitigate against, the impacts of a range of agricultural practices on adjacent ecosystems. The development of novel efficient biotracers that can serve as early warning signals of agricultural impacts on aquatic ecosystems will be essential to inform wildlife ecologists and management.

Applications must consist of the following: (1) a letter expressing your interest; (2) an unofficial transcript; (3) names of at least two references; and (4) an example of your scientific writing.

The College of Biological Sciences at the University of Guelph currently has a number of major graduate scholarships available. Students with excellent academic records should visit the following website for further information:

Contact persons:
Nicholas Bernier ( and Frederic Laberge (